Contact Contact

Happy New Year (a few days early!)

December 28, 2016

New year

As we head into 2017, I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2016 and share what the RTA has accomplished.  We think of you, the riders, in all we do.  We are proud to serve you every day and look forward to continuing to do so in 2017 and beyond.  

When I became the Chairman of the RTA Board of Directors in the summer of 2014, I joined the RTA staff and directors in their work to advance public transportation in our six county region.  You may recall that I was a state senator for twenty years and served two governors of our great state.  I knew transit was important then but I have learned even more in the past few years.

I could have guessed that transit is important to our regional and state economy but the hard data is even more revealing than I'd anticipated.  When one looks at the jump in property values and the boon to economic development that access to transit brings, one clearly sees the importance of this system that our grandparents and parents passed on to us.  Other cities all over the country are laying rail and track and buying buses to keep up with us; to get a piece of this pie that we had served up to us by our predecessors.  We must find the funding we need to maintain and enhance it.  Earlier in my career, I knew intuitively that employers seek out our region for our talented workforce, but when I listen to business owners talk about the importance of attracting the next generation of workers to our area—a generation that is far less interested in driver’s licenses than mine was—I get a very clear understanding of the importance of transit in our region. Tax dollars are limited in Illinois and with every purchase made in our region, a portion of the sales tax collected goes to operating these all important trains and buses.  We all invest in our system every day and we must continue to do so for the generations to come.

The RTA may not be a familiar face to you.  The CTA, Metra and Pace do the work of providing rides in our region.  The RTA was created to balance out their interests, make sure their budgets are in line with the state’s requirements, coordinate transit at a regional level, and advocate for the operating and capital funding that is so crucial to our system’s continued success. In our region, the majority of the two million rides on transit each day are on CTA, but Metra trains carry passengers more than 20 miles on an average trip.   Without our suburban rail system, one that I take nearly every day, it’s been estimated we’d have to add 29 more lanes to our already congested highways.  Pace is one of the country’s largest suburban bus systems, with an innovative Bus on Shoulder program that is growing each year, and providing millions of ADA Paratransit rides to regional residents with disabilities.

We believe in transparency. The RTA streams our board meetings live each month, posts regional financial, planning, budgetary and more information on our website.  We have begun working with our partners to craft the region’s next Regional Transit Strategic Plan that will look out to 2023.  That seems a long way off now, but it will be here before we know it.  Hello, 2017!





Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Type your email address here
What emails would you like to receive from the RTA
Tagged in:

Related Articles

RTA ADA AWARENESS 2020 1 RTA celebrates 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

This month the RTA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA transformed society and provided opportunities f...

July 29, 2020
Pace Buses 3569195969 1588881889263 Take a survey to help improve mobility options for older adults and people with disabilities

Do you or someone you know face transportation challenges? The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) wants to hear from you about transportation issues and...

May 7, 2020
Transportation Tuesday Event Brite Banner V3 004 Transportation Tuesday Webinar Series: Attend the 2020 RTA Annual Planning Workshop Virtually

The RTA is launching a four-part webinar series in place of the Annual Planning Workshop due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The free, virtual sessions wil...

April 17, 2020
Call Banner 3485388325 1590696008966 Announcing the 2020 Access to Transit Program Call for Projects for Small-Scale Capital Projects

We are excited to announce that the call for projects for the RTA  Access to Transit Program is now open. The RTA launched the Access to Transit program in 2...

March 13, 2020
22 RTA 0646 Happy International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month from the RTA

Each year the RTA celebrates Women’s History Month in March to recognize the women who work at, and ride, CTA, Metra, and Pace every day. The celebration coi...

March 8, 2020
Survey image How's Your Ride? Take This Survey

We’d like to hear your thoughts about public transit!  The RTA is sponsoring a system-wide customer satisfaction survey and would like your feedback about yo...

March 2, 2020
Copyright © 2024 Regional Transportation Authority. All Rights Reserved.